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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

In Memoriam: William L. Williams

My mother's cousin, William L. Williams, who was a biochemist at the University of Georgia in Athens, died suddenly last April. On June 14, his birthday, the University held a memorial service for Bill Williams.

Bill was Research Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry, the department that he helped found, and was awarded the University's first Inventor of the Year Award in 1991, and was Georgia's Scientist of the Year in 1968. Among his many accomplishments was his pioneering work in the study of mammalian reproduction and in the effects of vitamin B12.

To my regret, I saw him only once; I met him two years ago at his 85th birthday party in Georgia. Before I ever met him I heard a million stories about Cousin Bill and his banjo playing, his love of reading, his adventurous spirit, his wacky sense of humor, and the fact that he introduced my mom to my dad. He was a kind, funny, unpretentious, and brilliant man, and I wish that I could have gotten to know him better. He did so much in his field that benefited the lives of others, and in his personal life he was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather--and cousin. We will miss him.

A sampling of his work in collaboration:

"Inhibition of Growth of Lactobacillus bulgaricus by Purine Deoxyribonucleotides"
by George K. Morris and William L. Williams

"Effect of hypophysectomy and replacement therapy on fatty acid metabolism in the rat testis"
by Ajit Goswami and William L. Williams

"Unidentified Growth Factor for a Lactic Acid Bacterium"
by Donald E. Weinman, George K. Morris, and William L. Williams


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